Choose Your Own Adventure: Tristan Roberts
Everything at Guidewire starts with our people, which is why we have a focus on career mobility! All employees are supported to #LeapFurther and level up their skills. Career journeys are not always a clear linear path or ladder, which is why personal development is so important. Read about Tristan Roberts' experience at Guidewire moving from Technical Support Engineer to Java Developer Consultant 2.
Do What You Love
My name is Tristan Roberts and I am based out of the Toronto Office. I have been with Guidewire for almost 2 years. In my time here at Guidewire, I have worked as a Technical Support Engineer, where I provided initial triage of issues detected by customer or detected through monitors as well as helped with resolving those issues and working with other teams to provide technical support to our customers. I now work as a Java Developer Consultant 2 where I get the opportunity to work on customer projects. There, I develop solutions for new implementations of our InsuranceSuite software, help upgrade from on-premise installation to our Guidewire Cloud Platform as well as implement new features such as new lines of business for existing customers.
I began looking to transition internally just before the summer of 2022. I joined Guidewire with the intention of moving to a more development heavy role. I spoke with a manager of the GSC (Guidewire Services Center) team located in Toronto and became interested in the team and the role of consultant. I spoke with my manager at the time and she insisted that I look into this as it would be a good opportunity to grow in the role I wanted.
Navigating What's Next
A big part of my move internally came from my experience in-office. I had the opportunity to speak with the manager of the team I was interested in and have them explain the role more in-depth, they also put me in touch with a member of their team where I could ask what skills I could improve for that role. I then spoke with my manager and they helped me get familiar with the process of applying internally and helped me find resources I could use to improve my skills for this role. I then used online resources to study and practice Object Oriented Principles so that I would be prepared. The recruiter was a great help in keeping me up to date on the process and where I stood during the interview process.
I needed to improve my technical skills for the new role. I did this by taking online quizzes for many topics related to Java development. My manager assisted in finding those resources. I then spent free time practicing practical development skills so that I would be prepared for the interview.
Growing with Guidewire
During my time as a Technical Support Engineer, I had the opportunity to learn the PolicyCenter application. This let me triage issues related to the application as well as configure it further. This skill helped me adapt in the new role as I did not need as much training to understand the product. I also worked a lot with customers, this helped me build communication skills that allowed me to work better as a consultant. I also had the opportunity to develop leadership skills in my new role, something that I could use in the new role that would help me grow as a professional. Additionally, I developed more generic Java related skills. All of the skills I studied and developed helped me to become my best self in my new role.
I think there are a number of advantages to moving internally rather than externally. First, you have the chance to speak with the teams, to fully understand what they do. This allows you to gauge your interest in a real, not scripted conversation. Another advantage to moving internally is that you have the support of your current team/manager to assist in that transition. They can help you apply, give you pointers as well give you the motivation to make the move. The final advantage to moving internally is that you get to experience and grow within the company in a new environment. This allows you to develop new skills that can be used internally or externally.
Adventure as a State of Mind
My biggest piece of advice is that change is scary, but if you are passionate about the field, you need to take that leap of faith. I know that when you are looking to make a big change such as career move, it can be intimidating. One of the things you can do is reach out to industry professionals, they can explain roles, talk through skills that are required as well what to expect day to day. There's nothing wrong with seeking help and asking questions, those can sometimes lead to unexpected, positive outcomes. Change can be a scary thing, but use the resources available to you to make that an educated leap towards new opportunities.
The recruitment team was amazing. They were available to answer any questions, regardless of how strange they may have seemed. I didn't feel out of the loop but instead felt that these peoples were truly there and cared about the process.
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